Thank God it’s NOT Friday!

Do you ever wake up on the first day of the weekend (Friday here in the UAE) and think, “How on earth am I going to keep the kids entertained for the next 14 hours?”

Pre-child pastimes such as lie-ins, long lunches and lazy afternoons a thing of the past, of course.

It’s honestly not that I’m a disinterested Mum – it’s because, when DH is gone at the weekend, the prospect of such a long stretch of unstructured time without breaks feels a little daunting – especially as our options are still limited due to the climate.

As my Scottish neighbour (who bravely stayed here all summer) put it the other day, “You can’t even go into the garden and dig a hole to pass the time.”

So when my human alarm clocks come bounding in on Friday mornings at 6.30am and prize my eyes open, I ask myself a few questions: Do I have a plan? Can I avoid taking the kids to the supermarket? And, if I lie really still and don’t talk, will they let me sleep some more?

The answer to all three this morning was no.

I’m happy to be a homebody (being cancerian, I guess) but this clearly isn’t compatible with two active boys who start climbing the walls by midday.

Long before that, I’m treated to a chorus that to mums everywhere is worse than the most irritating mobile ringtone.

“Mum-eeeee, MUM-EEEE, I’m bored,” whined BB shortly after I’d poured breakfast cereal into their bowls and all over the floor while still half asleep at 7.30am. “I said, I’m BORED.”

“Where are we going today?” (he knows full well I’ll have to think of something)

Mini Monsters on Sheik Zayed Road: And, yep, that is my oldest son about to point the shooter straight at me.
We could have gone swimming, of course, but today the energy needed for that on my part (BB swims like a fish, but LB can’t yet) was lacking due to a cold (yes, even in 40-degrees heat!). I’ve also been promising myself for ages that we’ll go to church – there’s a good expat church in a hotel near work apparently.

And the mall is always an option, though I go through phases of never wanting to see the inside of a mall again – not the shops, but the plastic playareas that are mainly populated by Filipino nannies rather than mums.

When the boys started moving furniture around and fighting over the of-no-interest-to-them-normally decorative cushions, it was time to evacuate the house and we ended up at Mini Monsters, which is actually rather growing on me as the kids love it and there’s wi-fi for mummy.

So it all worked out in the end. But if, on a Friday in future, you see a blonde with two boys in tow looking at you thinking, “She would be a nice Friday friend,” don’t assume I’m odd, because one of these weekends it could be you who’s in charge of the kids with no man and no plan.

5 thoughts on “Thank God it’s NOT Friday!

  1. This sounds sooooo much like me(well, a few years ago.) We moved to Phoenix in July (what were we thinking?) with our two small boys, and you can only spend so much time in the pool (and of course, it’s no fun when it’s your own boring pool with only your boring brother for company), and going outside was out of the question, so we spent lots of time at indoor playgrounds across the city. Since we were new, I was still trying to find playmates for the boys (and myself) and I felt like I spent all my time at those places, looking for friends – both for me and the boys! I always felt like some sort of pervert, sizing up other women and assessing their children (ooooh, look: she has two little boys, too!) I guess some things never change.

    • I do just that! I guess it changes over time, tho, as the kids become more independent and grow out of those indoor playareas, then maybe I’ll really miss those plastic, padded, artifically lit play places! I think I need a few more activities now the boys are getting a bit bigger – just discovered there’s T-ball here, and DH, who grew up doing T-ball in Thailand, is keen BB tries it – apparently it’s like a little America, with hot dog stands and everything! Can’t wait to check it out!

  2. Well, I took ballet and tap dancing when we lived in Bangkok, so it stands to reason they would have had something for the boys to do, too, although I didn’t have anything to do with t-ball at the time. One of the strangest summer activities we participated in as the boys got older (in Phoenix) was summer bowling leagues. It was ‘the’ activity, and the leagues filled up very quickly, so we moms started putting groups together sometime in March, I think. Several hours in an airconditioned building with music, a room full of video games, and a snack bar – they loved it. Really never an activity that I’d pictured my boys doing in summer league, but when in Rome….

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